Local(Cheshire, UK) poet Andrew Rudd has agreed to do the first of my 'Guest blogs'. Here he is:

Fourpenny Circus - the background

In 2006 I was Cheshire Poet Laureate number 4, followed by Jo Bell in 2007. Sometime that year, the idea came up – it was probably Jo who suggested it – of getting together and doing a show. We were all keen, in different ways, on the idea of sharing our enjoyment of poetry with new audiences – people who were turned off by events which consisted of middle-aged men in cardigans reading obscure things out of books. Why not have a show where poetry was something lively and entertaining?

That was the start of Bunch of Fives. We worked with Kevin Dyer – playwright and director of Action Transport Theatre Company. We put in a bid to the Arts Council and got some funding. We had a kind of boxing theme that grew out of the title, and we learned stuff off by heart – a new and terrifying experience for all of us. The show ended up with five ‘rounds’ on different subjects, performed in village halls, universities, Styal Prison among other venues. As soon as that show ended, Harry Owen (number 1) ran away to South Africa. So we decided to have another go, this time with four…
Fourpenny Circus poster
Which led, after a million ideas, to a circus theme and Fourpenny Circus. This show has raised the bar for all of us. More venues, costumes, a bit more ‘theatre’ and more interplay and development. Jo is the Ringmaster, John Lindley an escapologist. Joy Winkler takes to the tightrope, and I tame the lions. This ‘circus’ is seedy and past its best. It’s a place of memories and bizarre poetic ‘tricks’ – a variety show of dreams.

Visit www.fourpennycircus.co.uk for full details. Running through June and July, then extra dates in October and November – including Keele and Chester. See you there!

Fourpenny Circus

Kath: Andrew is the one on the left.
Read one of his poem's here


  1. Marcus Goodyear  

    29 May 2009 at 17:35

    Oh man, I wish I could go to this. Andrew, Kath, please post a teaser video on YouTube for us poor yanks across the pond!

  2. Kath Williamson  

    29 May 2009 at 23:03

    I'll ask Andrew if he can arrange it, Marcus.
    Thank you for your comment.